Industrial Light & Magic, the visual effects firm George Lucas created for his epic Star Wars film series, is moving into a 30,000-square-foot Vancouver space previously occupied by digital animation studio Pixar, which shuttered at the cost of 100 jobs last year.
ILM believes it wil use the Gastown office space for “at least eight to 10 years,” with up to one-third of the upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII’s visual effects work slated to be completed in the city. The firm says its choice to work in Vancouver isn’t about taxes or time zones—it’s about tapping into the city’s rich pool of passionate talent in the digital space.
ILM already has more than 130 employees in Vancouver and plans to boost that number this year. BC has roughly 600 digital media companies who employ approximately 16,000 people and generate about $2.3 billion in annual sales.